San Francisco, CA
Having read the other reviews, it does not surprise me to hear of the many problems associated with these complaints. By law, the State of California regulates the practice of landscape architecture. This regulation clearly definies what a landscape designer is legally allowed to offer in design services:
May prepare plans, drawings, and specifications for the selection, placement, or use of plants for single family dwellings.
May prepare drawings for the conceptual design and placement of tangible objects and landscape features.
May NOT prepare construction documents, details, or specifications for tangible landscape objects or landscape features. May NOT prepare grading and drainage plans for the alteration of sites.
Many of these latter items are absolutely critical in the design process. For those expectinig more than a simple, rendered graphic design showing the placement of design elements and a list of optional materials (by law they are prohibited from providing dimensioned drawings or providing construction details), let the buyer beware. You either need to hire a landscape architect who is licensed to provide all these services/products or work with a licensed landscape contractor who will assist in the design which they have contracted with you to install. Do not let price cloud your judgement, licensed professionals are much more likely to provide the service you seek..